The European Union (EU) declares itself to be more than a tool for governance or an economic organization. It states to be a mediator to build a common European culture based on a shared history, values, and future. The European Heritage Label (EHL) is the latest cultural initiative of the EU. The EHL gives a precise form about how the EU constructs common European identity through heritage. The thesis researches the use of the EHL to construct a common European cultural identity by European Union and the relation of the national heritage actors in the Netherlands and the sites to this endeavor. The thesis aimed to reveal the material and social experiences, practices and dialogues between people and things. Therefore qualitative research is chosen for methodology. The thesis demonstrated that the EU established a new heritage approach to build a common European cultural identity. In this new approach, tangible heritage places are managed according to intangible values. In order to do that the EHL inherited and combined former approaches from valid tangible and intangible heritage managements from contemporary heritage field. Such approach is a significant alteration of the Eurocentric and traditional way of perceiving heritage. The reason behind establishing a new heritage approach is to use the EHL for stimulating discussions about the values of Europe and the significance of the EU among several actors. Thesis showed that the EU set forth a range of activities to realize this objective. Some activities became obstacles for raising discussion and producing heritage actively in the present and contradict with the new heritage approach. However the thesis also explored that some activities are compatible for debating on heritage and producing it creatively regarding the needs of the European society.

culture, tourism, Cultural heritage, European identity, European Heritage Label, European Union, critical heritage
D. Hoebbink
Place, Culture and Tourism
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

N. Cabbar. (2019, June 24). "EUROPEAN HERITAGE LABEL Constructing a Common European Cultural Identity". Place, Culture and Tourism. Retrieved from